Poison rumours creates panic in Ohangwena

… as Police warn against toxic atmosphere creating disharmony


THE police in Ohangwena region has cautioned members of the public to desist from making and spreading wild and unsubstantiated poisoning and witchcraft rumours as this will lead to ugly and unnecessary incidences of violence such as assaults and even death.

Ohangwena Police spokesperson, Sergeant, Andreas Nghiyolwa issued this warning in an interview with Confidente on the alleged soaring incidents of poisoning in the region.

There have been sporadic cases of alleged poisoning cases in many parts of Ohangwena, with many community members vowing to take law into their own hands to punish those suspected of poisoning others out.

About two weeks ago, three young men died mysteriously at Onhuno village in Ohangwena after a night-out at a local cuca-shops. The three were among a group of five patrons and friends who went to out to drink at local shebeens in Onhuno.

Two were found dead in their rooms in their respective homes the next morning, while the third died a few days later at Engela hospital.

They had allegedly consumed a Tassenberg bottled wine at one cuca-shop. The two survivals did not drink the wine.

Two months earlier at Oshikango, a police officer was found dead in his room after a suspected case of poisoning. Last week, a resident of Okadiva village in Oshikango constituency was found dead in her room after allegedly consuming the traditional ‘ombike’ brew.

The incidents led to many residents from the region to declare and charge that there are certain individuals with poison, who are hell- bent on poisoning other in order to reap financial gains or increase their financial fortunes. Members of the public in the region have vowed to deal with such individuals.

However, Nghiyolwa cautioned people to avoid such behavior saying it would land them in trouble with the law.

“I have heard the news. What the people should know is that what determines if a person consumed poison is the post mortem examination that is carried out by a medical doctor. Otherwise nothing else can tell whether or not a person consumed poison or not. That is always written on the post mortem report,” he stressed.

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Nghiyolwa pointed out that in the case of the three victims, if the autopsy report indicate foul play, their families should approach the nearest police station to open a case to which the police would start with investigation.

However, he noted, these investigations are hard to conduct as in most cases the victims have taken food and drinks at different places and no specific person or establishment can be fingered.

Nghiyolwa strongly advised against people taking the law into their hands.

People always point fingers and in most cases with no evidence. What we should know is that if you harm or kill someone, the law will deal with you.

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If there is suspicion and evidence that a particular person is a victim of poisoning, people should approach the police, and the police will take it up,” said.